Bereaved mother receives damages after tragic loss of son

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Bereaved mother receives damages after tragic loss of son

4th August 2011

A woman who tragically lost her 17 year-old son in a fatal road traffic accident over three years ago has received £26,500 damages in an out of court settlement.

The teenage victim who was considered the ‘man of the house’ following the sudden death of his father some years earlier assisted his mother day-to-day with general chores, basic DIY and heavy tasks such as stacking logs for firewood.

Nick Godwin, a fatal accidents expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP said: “My client was understandably hugely traumatised following her son’s death and underwent extensive counselling after he died.

“Struggling with her loss, she was unaware she was entitled to a bereavement award until shortly before the limitation period in which she was eligible to make her claim was due to expire. After instructing me to bring a claim on her behalf just weeks before the limitation deadline, I was happy to help secure her the damages she was entitled to within such a short timeframe.

“Legally this was an interesting case as the car in which my client’s son was killed had been taken by his friend without his parents’ permission,” added Nick, an associate with the firm. “The exclusion provisions in the Road Traffic Act 1988 exclude all liability if a vehicle involved in an accident is taken without the owner’s consent and the victim involved in the accident is found to have known that the vehicle had been taken unlawfully.

“In this case however, the claim was brought on behalf of the mother who was, crucially, a dependent of her son as it was expected that he would have continued to assist her throughout his life,” continued Nick. “A fatal claim on behalf of a dependent of a passenger who is killed is not expressly excluded by the Act even if the victim was aware that the car had been taken without permission.

“Obviously no amount of money can possibly make up for my client’s loss, but the damages she has now received will reimburse her for the extensive counselling fees and funeral costs she incurred and serve as an acknowledgement of the defendant’s wrongdoing - the consequences of which were tragic and life-changing,” said Nick.

The defendant who was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and driving without insurance was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.

Nick Godwin settled the claim on behalf of his client in July 2011.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to serious road accidents.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.